On a bright, sunny day 10 years ago, a timid, little girl walked through the doors of her elementary school gym carrying a dead, shriveled spinach plant. Splotchily stained blue from repeated, inept injections with food coloring, and withered from weeks of forgotten waterings and neglect, the plant appeared to have all the classic signs of abuse from the shy, unsuspecting perpetrator who proudly held it.The girl stood happily in front of her crudely-made, handwritten project board – eagerly explaining her original idea to anyone who would listen. Her invention, blue spinach for kids, provided an alternative for children who would not eat their green vegetables. Her ingenious solution? Turn the food blue, and, of course, children would happily eat their healthy foods.
The little girl explained this excitedly to the passerbys – intently recounting the difficulty of injecting the plant with the dye. Some laughed. Others simply stared. And with that unlikely start, a still-enduring scientific interest was sparked.
Fast forward to 10 years later. The same girl, now grown up, walked through the doors of the Los Angeles Convention Center carrying her latest project on drug resistance in cancer to present at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. She stood in front of her board, eagerly explaining her results – breakthrough research establishing the link between a cellular energy protein and drug resistance in ovarian cancer – to the intent crowd that surrounded her.
The product of hours of research and work, the project had already won several awards at the regional level and had even been featured on CBS 11 as a breakthrough in the fight against ovarian cancer. However, the girl stood in front of her board and delivered her presentation with the same excitement and interest of a little girl presenting her first science project on blue spinach.
Since my school does not officially participate in science fair competitions, I have individually completed and entered my own science fair projects in regional andstate competitions since I was in seventh grade. I’ve won awards at both the Exxonmobil Texas State Science Fair and the Fort Worth Regional Fair over the past four years. In seventh grade, I was selected as one of the 400 semifinalists in the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge for my science fair project about new alternative materials for lead. The next year, I was selected as one of the 30 finalists from around the entire nation for the Society for Science and the Public’s Middle School Program for my project titled “HDPE-Granite Composites” in which I created a novel material by mixing together two waste products, recycled plastic and granite powder. As a freshman, I was given the honor of traveling to Washington D.C. on an all-expense paid trip to present my project and participate in various scientific challenges with the other finalists. At the conclusion of the program, I was elected as a student speaker and gave a speech at the final awards ceremony. For being named a finalist, I was also given the honor of having a minor planet named after me and I was also covered in our local newspaper, the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
In 2009, I was also selected from the Exxonmobil Texas State Fair to participate in a week-long camp at the University of Texas at San Antonio during the summer as a part of the Governor’s Science and Technology Champions’ Academy (GSTCA). As a selected student this year, I will again be attending the GSTCA for a second year.
Being a part of the Google Science Fair, I believe, would provide an unique opportunity to expose my research and interact with other future scientists. As a student interested in biology and especially cancer and looking forward to pursuing a career in medicine, I really do believe that, if given the chance, being a finalist in the Google Science Fair will be an experience that will not only help me grow as a person but also hopefully help me in my attempts to fulfill my goals for the future.
Having competed in the Fort Worth Regional Science and Engineering Fair, this project has earned: